Home » Nation »  USCCB officials urge Homeland Security to defer deportation of Chaldeans

USCCB officials urge Homeland Security to defer deportation of Chaldeans


  • Women react as they talk about family members who were arrested by immigration officials during a June 12 rally outside the Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield, Mich. Dozens of Chaldean Christians were arrested by federal immigration officials over the weekend of June 10 and 11 in the Detroit metropolitan area, which members of the local church community said left them feeling sad and frustrated. (CNS photo/Rebecca Cook, Reuters)
  • Members of the local Chaldean community gather outside the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building June 16 to protest the arrest and detention of more than 100 Chaldean Christians from the Detroit area. (CNS photo/Dan Meloy, The Michigan Catholic)
  • Chaldean-American Lavrena Kenawa cries during a June 12 rally outside the Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield, Mich. Her uncle was among dozens of Chaldean Christians who were arrested by federal immigration officials over the weekend of June 10 and 11 in the Detroit metropolitan area, which members of the local church community said left them sad and frustrated. (CNS photo/Rebecca Cook, Reuters)
  • A woman holds a sign and cross as members of the local Chaldean community demonstrate June 16 outside the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building to protest the arrest and detention of more than 100 Chaldean Christians from the Detroit area. (CNS photo/Jim West)

Help us expand our reach! Please share this article

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairmen of the bishops' migration and international policy committees urged Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to defer deportation of Chaldean Christians and others arrested June 11.

They made the comments in a letter to Kelly in response to the apprehension of Iraqis in the Detroit area and near Nashville, Tennessee, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. More than 100 were arrested, including Chaldean Christians and Shiite Muslims. There were placed in federal custody in Youngstown, Ohio, and faced deportation June 21.

"Returning religious minorities to Iraq at this time, without specific plans for protection, does not appear consistent with our concerns about genocide and persecution of Christians in Iraq," the bishops wrote.

"We strongly encourage you to exercise the discretion available to you under law," they continued, "to defer the deportation of persons to Iraq, particularly Christians and Chaldean Catholics, who pose no threat to U.S. public safety, until such time as the situation in Iraq stabilizes and its government proves willing and capable of protecting the rights of religious minorities."

Help us expand our reach! Please share this article

Submit a Letter to the Editor